On the Record | WYPR

On the Record

Amy Webb / Future Today Institute

Summer means a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables. But when you choose those juicy plums or ripe tomatoes from your favorite grocery produce section … do you stop to question where and how they were grown? Amy Webb, founder of the ‘Future Today Institute’, has some answers. She talks about the future of farming, from genetic editing to collaborative robots to urban indoor warehouse farms. She also offers some perspective about the sci-fi feel of agricultural technology developments.

Webb suggests the online magazine, Modern Farmer, as a good, accessible source to stay informed on future farming developments.

Brenda Sanders / Thrive Baltimore

After a holiday week when grills have been ablaze for hot dogs, burgers and ribs, we’re going to shift focus -- and diet -- to learn about some delicious vegan options for summer meals. We talk with Brenda Sanders, co-founder and CEO of Thrive Baltimore. Thrive Baltimore provides education and resources to those seeking to adopt a vegan diet and lifestyle. Tomorrow, July 7, from noon to 6pm they’re hosting the second annual Vegan Marketplace, at 6 E. Lafayette Ave. Free Admission!

Here's a Stoop Story from 'Cafeteria Man' Tony Geraci about how working in school kitchens steered him to his passion. Geraci led efforts in Baltimore and in Memphis to make public school lunches more nutritious. Now, he works as a consultant to create healthier meals for children across the U.S. You can hear his story and others at stoopstorytelling dot com.

(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Thousands of children and adults have crossed the southern U.S. border. For some, violence in their home countries pushed them to this risky journey. While the practice of separating families at the border has ended. About two thousand children have yet to be reunited with their parents. Emily Kephart from the legal advocacy group Kids in Need of Defense, tells us about the case of a six-year-old girl who for weeks has been held far from her father.

Then UMBC political science professor Jeffrey Davis describes treaties and international laws that govern how refugees are treated, and promise them due process. You can read his piece on the US' 'zero tolerance' immigration policies at The Conversation.

Melissa Gerr

Sunscreen, bug spray, shampoo, deodorant. When we wash personal care products like these off of our bodies, they go down the drain, pass through wastewater treatment plants, and end up in our rivers and oceans. Scientists have found numerous ill effects from these chemicals, including the feminization of fish. Environmental engineer Lee Blaney, associate professor at UMBC, joins us to talk about his research in local waterways.

Read about Blaney's research here.

Historic London Town and Gardens

In 1683 London Town was established on the South River, in Anne Arundel County. It was a vibrant trade point, but faded away by the 1800s. Kyle Dalton, Public Programs Administrator of Historic London Town and Gardens, says the town’s residents were commoners--tailors, indentured servants, slaves.

How might London Town’s residents have reacted to news of the Declaration of Independence? Check out information about the living history events this Saturday and Sunday here.

We learn how the historic site is working with the U.S. Marine Corps Historical Company, to bring the past to life. Sgt. Thomas Williams, director of the USMCHC, and Beth Hall, deputy director of the Material Division, give us an inside look.

Maureen Harvie / WYPR

What does it take to become a citizen? An interview, a civics exam, and a lot of paperwork.

But these challenges are worth it to those seeking a permanent home in the United States. Yana Cascioffe is the Citizenship Program Coordinator at Baltimore City Community College, which runs classes across the state to prepare people for the naturalization process.

We hear from current students, as well as a Russian immigrant who became a citizen in May.

That was a Stoop Story from Catharine Deitch about serving overseas during World War II in the Women’s Army Corps. You can hear more Stoop stories and the Stoop podcast here.

Fort George G. Meade Museum website

Soon after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, a presidential order permitted wide-scale imprisonment of people of Japanese ancestry. Not as well known: This order also allowed Germans and Italians to be held, and several hundred were, at Fort Meade Army Base. Kevin Leonard, who writes The Laurel Leader’s “History Matters” column, describes his research into this internment camp.

Melissa Gerr

We’re about a decade in to single-stream recycling in Maryland --how is the system working? And how are we doing? Is the process cost effective? Is recycling worthwhile? We ask Robert Murrow, recycling coordinator at Baltimore City Department of Public Works, about the business of recycling. Plus, DPW recycling collection employee Roland Weeks Jr. describes realities of the work and his colleague Welford Lee Johnson Jr. offers advice to aspirational recyclers.

WYPR

Insurgents are triumphant in many Democratic primary races. Progressive Ben Jealous, former head of the NAACP, decisively defeated moderate Rushern Baker of Prince George’s County for the Democratic nomination to face off against incumbent GOP Governor Larry Hogan in the fall. Jealous promised his supporters victory.

The drubbing of the Democratic establishment was not only at the top of the ticket: In the legislature, powerful committee chairmen were ousted, and at least one more seems headed to defeat. Republican voters seemed to send a more moderate message, We’ll analyze what the voters are saying with political commentator Barry Rascovar and WYPR Baltimore County reporter John Lee.

Ivy Bookshop

We think of ice cream as a summertime indulgence ... but year round, Americans average about a pint per person each week! To get the scoop on our love affair with the frozen treat, we talk with Amy Ettinger, author of the book, Sweet Spot: An Ice Cream Binge Across America. Plus, Tim Andon of T-I-C Gums tells us about the Ice Cream University and graduate Whitney LaRoche describes what it was like to create a winning ice cream flavor.

Here’s a Stoop Story from Monisha Cheriyal about how her parents’ FOUR weddings influenced her ceremony choices. You can hear her story and many others at stoopstorytelling.com. The Stoop podcast is there, too.

Emi Moriyan / Flickr via Creative Commons

From booking a venue to paring down the guest list, planning a wedding requires dozens of difficult decisions. We hear from Janelle Diamond, managing editor of Baltimore Bride magazine - soon to be known as Baltimore Weddings. We’ll ask what’s behind the name change. And Kawania Wooten, founder of Howerton Wooten Events, remembers a couple whose ceremony blended their traditions.

Check out the Baltimore Bride blog Hitched here.

As she grew up, Petula Caesar's African-American father praised her good grades and her light skin. He raised her to be deferential to white people and to see blacks as dangerous.

A book release luncheon and panel discussion about the book’s themes will take place Saturday, starting at 12:30 pm at Touchpiont Baltimore, near Mondawmin mall. The address is 2401 Liberty Heights Ave.

Library of Congress, 1899

Harry Houdini is known for grand illusions and death-defying escapes. But what lies behind the curtain of Houdini as a performer? Why were some uses of trickery reviled by the master of magic? A new exhibit at the Jewish Museum of Maryland called ‘Inescapable: The Life and Legacy of Harry Houdini’ reveals answers to those questions and more. We hear from Marvin Pinkert, the museum’s executive director and David London, magician, performer and curator of the exhibit.

Information for the grand opening street festival and other events available at this link.

In this gourmet era, canned food doesn’t get much respect. But that humble tin of chicken soup in the pantry has a fascinating backstory. Canning was invented to feed soldiers during the French Revolutionary Wars. And the commercial canning industry that followed was, at first, a dicey business.

Historian Anna Zeide talks about her new book, “Canned: The Rise and Fall of Consumer Confidence in the American Food Industry.”

JHU Press

We talk with Dr. W. Daniel Hale and Dr. Panagis Galiasatos about the Johns Hopkins Healthy Community Partnership. The program promotes patient education by drawing on the familiarity and trust developed in faith communities -- and they wrote a book about it, called Building Healthy Communities through Medical-Religious Partnerships. We also meet Antoinette Joyner, the commissioner for healthcare ministry at St. John’s African Methodist Episcopal Church about how the program has made an impact on her congregation.

Todd Marcus

The line blurs between art and activism for bass clarinetist and jazz composer Todd Marcus. He perceives music as a way to build community and nuture healing. He joins us to talk about his latest CD, "On These Streets: A Baltimore Story." The songs are inspired by two decades of living and working alongside his neighbors in West Baltimore with the non-profit, ‘Intersection of Change.’

The Todd Marcus Quintet's CD release party is June 16 at Center Stage. More information here.

Here’s Renee Watkins’ Stoop Story about coming out to her parents … that begins with a road trip she’ll never forget. You can hear her story and others at stoopstorytelling.com

It's Pride Weekend! Find information for all of the events at this link.

AP Images

We’ve interviewed the eight Democrats running for their party’s nomination to face off against incumbent Republican Gov. Larry Hogan in the fall and asked how each proposes to address the opioid overdose epidemic, and guns and public safety. With us to share perspective and insight is the Baltimore editor of the Afro newspaper, Sean Yoes.

Melissa Gerr / WYPR radio/Baltimore

An end-of-life doula offers compassion and companionship to the dying and the people who love them. We talk with Debbie Geffen-Jones, bereavement program manager at Gilchrist, about what it takes to assume the doula role. And Kay Berney, who has volunteered in bereavement services for more than a decade, tells us what’s she’s learned as an end-of-life doula … and how it differs from the stereotype some people might expect. For more information about becoming a Gilchrist volunteer, visit this link.

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Creating jobs, cutting red-tape, managing the budget---the nine Democrats running for governor told us their economic priorities. Political columnist Barry Rascovar of Political Maryland analyzes their answers.

Here’s a Stoop Story told by Lauren Francis Sharma at the Baltimore Book Festival in 2016. She was unhappily working as a corporate lawyer in 1998 when she decided to take a chance on becoming an author. You can hear her story and many others at stoopstorytelling.com, as well as the Stoop podcast.

Stefan Malmesjö / Flickr via Creative Commons

The Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped offers books for readers of all ages in a variety of forms - from large print to Braille and audio materials. We hear from Robyn Hughes, a patron of the library for four decades. And from library director Leslie Bowman, who says new technology has vastly expanded access for readers with limited sight.

MD Dept Public Safety and Correctional Services

Maryland’s prisons have clamped how on where inmates can acquire books--they can now can order from just two limited vendors. The department of corrections says books from other sources can be used to smuggle drugs, and that can fuel violence behind bars. We ask Sonia Kumar, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland, why ACLU-MD contends the new restrictions violate the First Amendment.

Then we talk to Glennor Shirley about her two decades running libraries in Maryland’s prisons and how she viewed her responsibility to her patrons.

Here is the letter sent by ACLU-MD to DPSCS

Check out the Ear Hustle podcast here

Rachel Baye / WYPR

Democrats running for governor agree Maryland public schools are slipping, and most argue the state should spend more. Baltimore Sun opinion editor Andy Green helps us decipher the field on education.

Hedwig Storch/Wikimedia Commons

It’s estimated that more than fifty million voice-assisted devices -- like smartphones and smartspeakers -- are currently in use in the U.S.

From a usability perspective, voice-assisted technology, or artificial intelligence, has made it easier for millions of people to perform daily activities and access information. But are there dangers that lie in that scenario? We ask that question to Amy Webb, founder of the the ‘Future Today Institute,’ which researches emerging technologies as they move from the fringe to the mainstream.

Maryland Big Tree Program

From tree pollen to soaring saplings, we’re wild for the woods. Matthew Fitzpatrick of UMCES explains the connection between ancient pollen and climate change. Read more about pollen DNA and tree migration here.

And Joli McCathran of the Maryland Big Tree Program describes measuring trees of record size. To find a champion tree or to nominate one, check out the Maryland Big Tree website.

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